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How to Restore a Backup of all my Client's? Restoring the Backup


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Been running WSE2012R2 backing up seven PC's every day. Runs flawlessly. I further backup the entire WSE to a NAS on a daily basis using Windows Server Backup. The one hard drive on the WSE is now showing disk errors so I don't trust any recent backups.


I am trying to restore all of the client backups that are on the NAS box to a new hard drive that has a fresh copy of WSE2012R2 installed on it. I can use Windows Server backup to restore the client folder to the new hard drive but when I go to the Dashboard there are no backup devices listed. Dashboard looks like it is for a pristine system.


How do I restore the client backups and its associated catalog/database to my new drive so I can continue to backup (and potentially restore) my client PCs just as I have for years?


I could restore the entire system state but I am concerned that I might also be restoring additional disk errors at the same time. Hence just restoring the client backups seems to be least risky.



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"Disk Errors" are physical errors and in the literal sense have nothing to do with the data, per se.  The backup mechanism will just skip that sector on the disk when trying to use it.  Or ar least that's my take on the world.

My method of restoring is simple.  I use any client on the server and attach a docking station to it with a hard drive large enough to restore which ever client I chose.  I manually create the partitions needed for the System Reserved, OS, and data partitions and point the restore tool to go to that drive.  I always keep the SR and OS partitions the same size but the data I can decrease if needed.


Works like a charm, at least on WHS 2011 but I don't see why and 2012 version wouldn't do the same.    You might want to just get a new drive and copy the suspect drives contents over ot it and run backups to the new drive.

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Did you restore the Client Computer Backups  folder from the backup over top of the existing one created by the new installation?

I don't think the new installation of WSE created an empty "Client Computer Backups" folder so when I restored the data from the backup I believe it copied over that folder. Are you saying that WSE just looks at the contents of this folder and automatically creates the database of clients that have previously been backed up? That would be cool. I assumed there was a catalog/database containing info on each client backup including PC name, OS, what directories to back up, etc. I was thinking this needed to be integrated into the registry or some other file.


Please point me in the right direction. Thanks.

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No no, I'm not saying that at all, as cool as an automatic recreation of the database file would be (I think the Repair feature basically does this). There is a database file that contains the catalogue of backups. It should be included in the files you backed up, if you backed up the entire folder. Hmmm, I wonder if doing a Repair would fix the problem?? Not sure.


WSE should have created a Client Computer Backups  folder. This is what I was worried about. WSE would have created the folder on the C: drive IIRC (or maybe the D: partition of the boot drive, I don't recall exactly). The point is that I don't think it is located in the place where you had it before the reinstall. I'm assuming, perhaps incorrectly, that you relocated the folder on your previous installation, because the vast majority of WHS/WSE users do move the folder to their data drives.


You would have to use the DashBoard to look at where the shared folder is located and then move it to the correct location, all before  you tried to restore the folder. Otherwise, WSE thinks the folder is in the original location and won't look at the restored files at all.


Let us know if any of this applies to your situation.

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